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"I don't need to go to church to be a Christian"

Discussion in 'Water Cooler' started by LordKnows, May 19, 2016.

  1. How many of us have heard this statement?

    I was having a phone conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday (he's 78 yrs old) & I mentioned a new church that I'm going to. He has faith no doubt about it. Yet he said you don't have to go to church to be a Christian. I said "WHY wouldn't you want to?" Why wouldn't you want to be around other Christians? Learning more in a place of worship matures a Christian & expands knowledge. Meeting other Christians leads to being uplifted & uplifting others so WHY not attend?

    Befor God had me get serious:
    I too thought I didn't have to go to church. I also thought that I didn't have to read anymore of the Bible than necessary because I convinced myself that I knew just enough. I was SO wrong.

    What is your take & how would you reply to someone claims entering a place of worship isn't necessary to be a Christian?
     
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  2. @LordKnows Some people may not have to attend a church building to be a Christian, while some people like cannot be a Christian without attending. Who decides? Well in every case the decision is not ours but God's If we are really Christians in the sense that we are now and intend to be continue being and becoming Christ-like, then are we not being led by the Holy Spirit in every critical decision?

    I could tell you that the place I attend services regularly is where all should be or you could tell me that the place you attend is where we all should be, or that 'good friend' of yours could tell us both that we don't need to attend any such physical place?

    What would the Holy Spirit say to our hearts? Would this answer be the correct answer for us? People will cite especially the follow verse as a basis for saying we must attend church services:

    "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Heb 10:25

    It is a very good verse and it may mean that and then again it may not, depending where we are with God at the moment and what He is telling us when we read it or hear it.

    If we happen to live in a country where Christians are strong persecuted and where assembling for the purpose of pleasing God as a Christian are forbidden by law, what is a person to do... if such physical assembling is always required? God will most certainly direct us if we are paying attention.

    I do regularly attend a physical church building, but I also assemble with other believers in other places. Then again there are many church gatherings that I have attended where I would never go back... Our walk with God cannot be based completely on to which if any group we belong or to which place we regularly meet. The key for me is this verse:

    "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt 18:20

    One very important part of that verse is the "in my name". Not every person of every church group meeting is always, or even ever, "in" His "name" when they meet. If no one is, what good is the meeting?
     
  3. I think you dont have to go to church to be a christian. I have maybe been 2 or 3 times but still do good things. I love God. I follow the commandments as best as I can. So am I a Christian like your Elderly Friend....I would say so!!!!
     
  4. I don't see how we can get out of going to church. If we are young in the Lord, we need it to grow. If we are wise and mature we need to teach. If we have kids, we need to bring them up in it.

    We can attend small meetings at someone's house, but it is always risky if there are no elders in attendance. Many churches have leading pastors that come under no over sight. If we attend such, time may be better spent in a bar.food!
     
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  5. I believe he's right, but, most Christians are not strong enough to stand just them and Jesus. They need the family around them to bolster them.....That's not a bad thing.... There are some though, who are called out to walk with Jesus and learn directly from Him....with no one else to lean on. Still...This would only be for a season....For training purposes
     
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  6. @amadeus2 @Justme @KingJ @Bendito
    YES you MUST be part of an assembly or church or fellowship. It is what the New Testament is all about. Previous to Christ the Children of God was the nation of Israel,
    the 12 tribes - then a remnant; Judah. Now in the NT the Children of God are of the Spirit-filled Church - collective the Body of Christ.
    But with a difference to the previous natural and carnal model of OT Israel. Due to the indwelling Holy Spirit we also have a spiritual fellowship that binds us together.

    Romans 12:4-5
    4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
    5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
    Ephesians 4:25
    Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
    Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    1Corinthians 12:12-14
    14 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
    13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
    14 For the body is not one member, but many.
    1Corinthians 12:25-27
    25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
    26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
    27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
    Colossians 3:15
    And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
    Ephesians 4:2-6
    2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
    3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
    5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

    If a "Christian" separates his or herself from a church/fellowship and goes off to do their own thing, then they have no understanding of the above scriptures and
    why Jesus went to the trouble and enormous sacrifice to establish his Church here on planet Earth. A church is the people; people make up a church.
    A person who separates themselves from other Christians can be accused of pride; causing division; failing to love; straying out of the flock into danger...

    Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
    Very hard, if not impossible, to fulfill this with any real actions or fruit in a church of one.
    And how can one learn and grow and become more perfect without learning from others - "as iron sharpens iron"
    Romans 15:1-2
    1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
    2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

    Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
    Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
     
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  7. Well said @LordKnows / @amadeus2 @Justme @KingJ @Bendito

    Here is the real danger for the solitary Christian -
    1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:

    You can see the safety and purpose of the Church for its individual members in observing a large herd of grazing herbivorous animals, where there safety is
    in staying together and keeping their young close (and often the older and weaker within). Predators like wolves or lions stalk the herd looking for stagglers - but especially
    working on separating a herd member from the main body so that they can attack and take down the solitary creature.
    Safety is always in the herd. The herd can collectively defend itself and resist attack much better when it stays together.

    If for good reason you are not sure of the herd you are in then pray for Jesus to lead you and bring you to a place of his choosing that will be safe for you.
    People often choose a church that they will fit into and feel comfortable in.
    BUT Jesus calls people to the gospel, and really people need to desire the truth and to pray to Jesus to be lead to a church that preaches and practices the truth...
    and this must be a love of the Word of God unto obedience to the intent and content of the gospels, Acts and the epistles.
    And even though at times my brothers and sisters can disappoint and offend - how can I practice forgiveness and grace and brotherly kindness and love
    in a church of one?

    Hebrews 10:24-25
    24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    EXHORT: to encourage, to embolden, to cheer, to advise. The primary sense seems to be to excite or to give strength, spirit or courage.
    To deliver exhortation; to use words or arguments to incite to good deeds.
    Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
     
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  8.  
  9. You are absolutely right Waggles...We are all part of the body...but you have not shown where it is necessary to go to an organized church group...Forsake not the gathering of yourselves together can be two friends joining in worship, prayer and study..It can be a family of three...It can be thousands of people getting together for a service. The fact that God takes one aside to teach them does not separate them from the body in any way...Show now where the Word says we must go to an organized assembly/church.
     
  10. Rom 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
    Rom 16:4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
    Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
    Rom 16:23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
    Rom 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.
    1Co 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of
    Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
    1Co 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ,
    as I teach every where in every church.
    1Co 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

    CHURCH ekklēsia
    From a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2564; a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue,
    or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): - assembly, church.
     
  11. For wherever two or three "are gathered IN MY NAME, there am I with them". Its that simple. They are ALL part of or one of the churches.
     
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  12. There is a big difference between a group or prayer meeting and what constitutes the Church. Such a temporary get together is only some Church members meeting
    in order to carry out a specific purpose - such as follow up with a new convert.
    When Paul, Peter, James, Jude and John write about the Church of God it is in reference to a congregation made up of Elders, older more experienced members,
    young people and new converts (babes in Christ). A specific congregation or body of believers.

    The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 1Corinthians 16:19
    1Corinthians 12:28
    And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
    diversities of tongues.

    This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work. 1Timothy 3:1
    (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 1Timothy 3:5
    Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 1Timothy 3:8
    For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 1Timothy 3:13
    Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 1Timothy 5:17

    For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: Titus 1:5
    For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; Titus 1:7

    Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: James 5:14
    Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud,
    and giveth grace to the humble. 1Peter 5:5

    Jesus set up his Church on Earth through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Church is the body of believers in Christ consisting of many generations of members.
    Those with years of experience and maturity have responsibility to exhort and teach the younger members; and all have responsibility to succour and assist
    new converts. The Church of God is a sanctuary for the lost and wounded, the blind and lame, the chasers of false gods, the gamblers, etc, etc.
    The Church comes together primarily for communion meetings to remember what the sacrifice, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
    To preach the word, to praise and worship and to give thanks for our wonderful salvation.
    Outside of formal meetings yes members of the Church ought to be interacting with others that are helpful and charitable. This is also the Church in action.
     
  13. The "in my name" is of course the key.

    People are NOT "in His name" simply because they meet together in what they name a church service or a worship service. When we are really "in His name" it is according to God sees us in a given moment as He looks at our hearts.

    For example in a physical church service with of many people in attendance, it is quite possible that most of them are NOT in his name even though the preacher is "in His name" preaching a message according to anointing of the Holy Ghost. But... when most of people are focused on the football game that begins in less than half an hour, or the dinner that's already in oven at home, or the vacation trip that will begin immediately after the service, or the date they had or are to have with their best girl or boy-friend, etc... those distracted people are not likely to be "in His name" as God sees it.

    Even if some of them did at one time love God first where are they now...?

    If we are too busy thinking about other things during a gathering of short duration which supposedly is to have its primary focus on Him, how likely is it that much of the rest of our 168 hours per week are spent "in His name"?

    "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

    Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Rev 2:4-5
     
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  14. WHY wouldn't anyone want to be around other Christians in one place? I know for me I feel like I'm part of a family reunion. Medical reasons come up BUT healthy people don't need a doctor's so again, lean on God for healing if it is HIS will. If God wants you healthy that's what you will be. Blind people gathered, cripple people, sick, depressed, heartbroken, miserable & all the rest got together to just get a glimpse of Jesus. They didn't have cars, bikes, buses or even cabs but them who believed in Jesus & his word made it without trivial excuses as so many have today. It's common to have excuses today. It's also common to claim to be a Christian on the basis of "believing in God" as he himself has said, demons do that too. It takes more & we constantly make excuses to do less & we've excepted that. All because 'time's have changed.

    Gathering is FOR God, he loves all his children to surround themselves with others of the faith. Claiming to be a Christian & BEING a Christian are two totally different things (as I am seeing).

    Everyone has made some very good points however, when Jesus taught people "gathered". Yes, he makes house calls BUT when he taught people gathered by surrounding him as we do in a church or home with more than one person. He's said that "where 2 or more "gather" I am there among them & with them".

    All too often it boils down to selfishness, laziness & inconsideration. Too busy or lazy to get cleaned up, leave the comfort of our homes & gather for Jesus. As much as he does for us every second of everyday I think the very least that can be done is for his Christian kids is to give him our time on Sunday.

    Since he knows our hearts & our reason for not attending to gather for him our 'excuses' will never be good enough. NOTHING we do will ever be good enough for him because he IS perfect. Faith, true faith is what God desires.

    Society has changed Jesus has NOT! Thankfully he doesn't change his plans as much as we change our minds. His word IS written in stone.He not only said it he promises & guarantees it.

    Get to church NOT because you have to but because that is what God desires.


    SORRY for my long winded response.
    I tend to get on a roll about Jesus.

    God bless you All in Jesus's awesome phenomenal name.

    Mindy
     
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  15. It is interesting that Jesus's very first sermon he gave right after returning from the desert in the power of the Spirit did not turn out so well, and that was in a Church. Right after his sermon the entire congregation dragged him out to kill him. (Luke 4:17-29) Not a very friendly bunch, and that was in a Church setting. Another time Jesus was teaching in a Church, and the congregation did not like his sermon so they left, and never came back.(John 6:51-66) Another bad day for the Lord, and that was in a Church setting too.
    Moses lived in the desert for 40 years before the Lord could use him, and I am sure there were no Church's for him to visit during that time. Where does the pastor / teacher who has been set in the Church go to Church? Where do they get their information from, or their teaching? Hopefully not from the nearest Christian book store, or internet. The five fold ministry which Jesus gave unto men has a time limit on it. It was never the design of God for a person to mark out their pew in their local Church, and then spend their entire life sitting there. All new born Christians don't know anything, which is why we have Church's so they can learn the elementary things of God, and in how to come themselves before their Heavenly Father's throne to learn directly from him, and then they would go forth teaching and ministering to others outside the four walls of a physical building.
    As for me, I have stayed away from the organised Church, and that was not my decision to make. The Lord told me a long time ago, to come out from among them, and be separate, and I will receive you, and be your God, and you will be my son. For almost 40 years I have stayed away from any kind of denomination, or brick and mortar Church. It has just been in the last year, the Lord told me to begin visiting a local Church near my home. A non denomination group of believers, to not only be ministered to, but to minister to. I am not saying that going to a Church is bad, because it is not. You just have to go where the Lord leads you to. In all the years I was completely set apart from any local Church, I was always surrounded by other believers who were like minded.
     

  16. Curtis said
    "Where do they get their information from, or their teaching?"


    From the Bible !
     
  17. There is only one small problem with that kind of thinking. As Jesus (the Word of God) said, He only spoke what he heard his Father say.(John 12:49, John 8:28, John 12:50) The Word of God never speaks until God the Father speaks first.

    I can take the Bible and make it say anything I want it to say, but that would not be what God the Father said his Word said would it?
    Jesus tells his disciples how they are to learn......

    John. 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    Every one who has "heard" the Father, and have been "taught" by him will come to me!!! Come to me who? Come to the Word of God. The Word of God will never speak to you until the Father first speaks to you.
    What does this tell the Church today? If anyone who calls them self a Christian, does not have a one on one face to face relationship with God the Father through prayer, they will never know anything about what the Bible says. This is a major problem with the those who teach or preach the Word of God. They have never been taught by God, they have simply logically analyzed scripture on their own which removes the power and the anointing of God's Spirit. This kind of teaching / preaching produces no useful results that changes anybody or anything, it only sounds like fine sounding arguments. The Apostle Paul warned the Church about these kinds of people.

    Col 2:8 Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
     
  18. 4 Reasons for Church Membership

    Also, portion taken from 10 Reasons You Should Go to Church

    My Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Go to Church

    1. If you follow Christ, you are part of the body of Christ, and body parts, by nature, are connected. I know a sweet young woman who is recovering from surgery on the stump of her leg right now, so I can picture what a troublesome thing it is to have an amputation (1 Cor. 12:27).

    2. God wants to show others who he is through YOU. When you get involved at church, people get a bigger understanding of who God is (1 Cor. 12:7). Crazy, huh?

    3. You have been given a spiritual gift that is to be used to build up the body of Christ. Your gift is something other believers desperately need (1 Cor. 12)!

    4. You need to eat, learn and pray with other believers (Acts 2:42-47).

    5. You need to share with others, which means you have to hang out enough that you see the needs your brothers and sisters have. And they're gonna wanna share with you (Acts 2:45).

    6. You need encouragement, and other believers need encouragement from you on a regular basis because this life is seriously hard (Heb. 10:25).

    7. You need to laugh and cry with other believers through all the ups and downs of life. That can only happen if you're meeting with other believers through a lot of days (Rom. 12:15).

    8. God is going to comfort you, often through the words and actions of other believers, and He wants you to pass on the comfort to the believers around you (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

    9. If God is your Father, that makes church a family gathering (Phil. 1:2).

    10. When you gather with other believers and love them, God's love is made complete in you (1 John 4:12).
     
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  19. Im jumping on this thread. I agree with Mindy, why wouldnt you? Dont snub other believers, its not right.
    As long as the church you attend is in His name then why wouldn't you want to go and be a part of it?

    Just cos there are a few churches that bring disgrace or rotten and have false preachers doesnt mean there arent any that are true and pillars of their community and..organisation is actually a good thing! Even in the bible it says we have spiritual gifts of...ADMINISTRATION. Its not just oh gather whenever you feel like it.

    It does take some organising and its for the benefit of everyone..young and old not just a select few.
     
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